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Windsor edge local derby thriller

Datchet 168 all out; 39.1 Overs (Nichols 5 for 29)
Windsor 169 for 9; 39.2 Overs (Millman 73; Stapleburg 4 for 12)

After the sobering events of last weekend in Egham, Windsor played away to Datchet for their second friendly of the season. Skipper Wes Nichols won the toss and decided to bat first on an under prepared wicket that has some moisture which he thought could help his attack.

After some hiccups with youngster Tom Hartridge taking the new ball being unable to control its swing, Nichols introduced debutant Adnan to accompany him with the bowling duties and with his nagging seamers managed to contain the Datchet order. Superb fielding in the ring by Mark Lines helped dry up runs and Windsor capitalized via the wicket of skipper Sheppard to Nichols.

Adnan’s efforts were superb, as he appears to be the missing link to a Windsor attack that lacked consistency last season. He captured the dangerous George LBW and made life hard for batsmen to score consistently. It appears that Nichols has finally found a seamer who can apply pressure at the other end which augers well for Windsor’s attack. Nichols bowled unchanged for 16 overs to cut the heart out of Datchet and claim 5/29, picking up where he left off last season.

The skipper who had Datchet 90/8 then introduced his spinners to utilize the trial time and while Mohindru as always was economical claiming 3 wickets, the experience of Andy Dick tolled on youngster Mark Lines as he smashed him for 5 sixes to take the home side to 168 all out. Lines will have days like that but as long as he learns from the experience and keeps attacking the batsmen he will be fine. He must learn to be aggressive at all times.

Windsor’s performance in the field was outstanding with the fine bowling one side of the wicket being supported by fantastic fielding in the ring and catching. The highlights being a direct hit from veteran Rahul Mohindru and the athletics’ of Lines and Tom Hartridge. The side is starting to learn that building pressure and drying runs up will create opportunities to capture wickets.

Windsor started poorly with openers Davis and Condon being removed cheaply. This brought about a game changing partnership between Millman and Huggins who punished the rare poor balls bowled by the Datchet attack to take the side to 2/102.

Huggins departed playing across the line for 26 and bringing Chorley to the crease whose form although is very scratchy applied himself to build a partnership before departing adding valuable runs with Millman.

Yet another partnership flowed with youngster Hartridge 17 and Millman 73 before both fell in quick succession, leaving Windsor shaky and needing 20 runs off the last 5 overs! An easy task until Stapleburg produced a dream spell claiming 3 for none as Windsor staggered needing 6 off the last over.

Skipper Wes Nichols batting down the order giving others time in the middle, duly clipped two 4 in as many balls to give Windsor a win it may have otherwise let slip through panic, impatience and nerves. Nichols finished with 16 not out in a useful final performance as skipper before Bird comes back to lead the side next week.

What was pleasing about the day was the fact that the side in the middle order batted in partnerships. Millman was again sublime and is one of the most under rated batsmen in the league as he uses guile and touch to tick the runs along. He will be one of the side’s main assets along with Bird and Huggins when it comes to scoring runs for us this season.

As for the attack Adnan look to be the perfect foil for Nichols who can now attack more and use his variety as a bowler now he has a miser at the other end in who will dry up runs. The fact that Windsor had the best batting side in the division 90/8, speak volumes for its potential.

The side now turns its attention to Enfield next week hoping to continue the good form and lesson it learns week in week out.

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